Watchdog group files lawsuit against Interior Dept. seeking info on EcoHealth Alliance, Wuhan lab
'It’s understandable that USGS would want to hide any involvement in research with the Wuhan Lab,' the director of PPT said in a statement
The conservative watchdog group Protect the People's Trust on Friday announced a lawsuit against the Interior Department over allegedly withholding documents in connection with its alleged involvement with EcoHealth Alliance and research by the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
COVID-19 was first detected in the China city of Wuhan. Some people believe the virus leaked from the lab. The National Institutes of Health has given grant money to the nonprofit alliance, which has reportedly worked with the virology lab on bat coronavirus research.
Public documents and published reports show evidence of possible connections between officials and actions of the U.S. Geological Survey at the Interior Department and controversial research at the lab led by alliance President Peter Daszak.
In August 2021, the watchdog group submitted a Freedom of Information Act request about grants by the USGS that were potentially given to the Wuhan laboratory.
USGS replied a month later that it had no such records, which prompted the lawsuit.
"It’s understandable that USGS would want to hide any involvement in research with the Wuhan Lab and EcoHealth Alliance," says watchdog group Director Michael Chamberlain. "But an apparent desire to avoid accountability is not a legitimate justification for denying a valid request for information."